If you're not familiar with the tough-on-crime "stop and frisk" police tactic that's earning New York City special scrutiny from federal courts, The Daily Show's John Oliver has you covered. The policy has long divided New York, Oliver said on Tuesday's show, "with black and Latino residents of this city saying it's an invasion of their liberty and white residents saying: 'Oh, I think I heard a thing about that on NPR. Is that still happening?'"
Police have disproportionately stopped-and-frisked black (52 percent) and Latino (31 percent) New Yorkers over the past eight years, and only 6 percent of the millions of people stopped were even arrested, Oliver pointed out. To put this in perspective for white people and non-New Yorkers, Oliver likened Harlem and other primarily black areas of the city to an aggressive TSA checkpoint at the airport:
You know how we feel at the airport when the TSA is patting us down, unnecessarily delaying us, looking for weapons which we obviously don't have, and we're just trying get to our gate? Well, imagine your whole neighborhood is Terminal B at LaGuardia. And the TSA agents sometimes talk to you like this: "Um, boarding pass, and WHAT THE F--K ARE YOU LOOKING AT? OPEN THAT COMPUTER BAG BEFORE I BREAK YOUR ARM, MOTHERF--KER!"
Correspondent Jessica Williams somehow managed to one-up Oliver. She reported "live" from "one of New York's most crime-ridden neighborhoods" — Wall Street — and gave a pitch-perfect defense of "stop and frisk" from an alternate universe in which the police care as much about white-collar crime as petty theft and small-time pot possession.
In the wild card segment of the show, Jason Jones performed a public service by taking an obscure-but-important story about a fight against a government cartel (spoiler: Raisins) — and giving it the Godfather treatment:
- This is the twistiest tongue twister ever, says science
- How to stick it to the poor: A congressional strategy
- The secrets of happy families
- 4 secret societies you probably don't know about
- Would you cuddle a stranger for $80 an hour?
- Did God have a wife?
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- Which professions have the most psychopaths?
- Will John Kerry's foreign policy successes undercut Hillary Clinton?
- Why Republicans shouldn't get too excited over Obama's stumbles
Subscribe to the Week